The Aquarium and More for Your Cichlids

The Aquarium and More for Your Cichlids

African cichlids, or simply CAs, are fish from different regions, mainly from the great African lakes formed in the Western Rift Valley, Malawi, Tanganyika and Victoria, the Rift lake. These lakes are home to wonderful fish, where many have fantastic colors, capable of giving glamor to all aquariums that have them.

African Cichlid Aquarium

We usually use aquariums with good volume to house African Cichlids, as they are fish that need a lot of space to improve their coexistence. It is normal for there to be one or the other between them, which is eased in long aquariums, as the chase is usually not given by larger spaces. An aquarium with 2 meters in length, 200 x 50 x 60 cm, can prove the theory that space helps a lot in the coexistence of fish.

The hardscape

Considering the origin of the African Cichlids, the aquarium should have sand and rocks in its decoration. There are several types of natural rocks indicated, in addition to modeled and waterproofed Styrofoam rocks, associated with alkaline substrate, in order to maintain the water alkalinity, necessary for fish. It is very important to create burrows and spaces divided by the rocks, since such cichlids need nests and “territories”.

We found many African aquariums using marine rocks, forming beautiful assemblies with the exuberance of fish colors, forming a “false marine”.

Lagos Map (Malawi, Tanganyika or Victoria)

A beginner’s recommendation is to first choose one of the three ponds for your project, avoiding the mixing of fish from different ponds. In some cases, there may be incompatibility due to the parameters of water, behavior or food. From that decision, he will be able to analyze the subgroups existing in the chosen lake to carry out its configuration.

The behavior

Keep in mind that within our future aquarium there will be some competition for territory, partners and food. Because of this, it is essential that the hobbyist knows the behavior of the fish before making his choice. Some species have an aggressive behavior, others show less aggressiveness. Some may live with other species, but do not accept individuals of the same species. Imagine a very aggressive fish chasing another individual all the time in the aquarium.


This can lead to the death of the victim even worse if their adult size has a lot of difference. That is why we analyze whether a particular fish will “hold” the companies we are going to give it. Color can also influence the definition of fauna. A yellow fish may think that a yellow of a different species is its competitor and the chase will be continuous.

Eating habits

Alimentação Ciclídeos Africanos

Feeding African Cichlids

Among African cichlids , there are vegetarian, omnivorous and carnivorous species. There are specific rations for certain groups of CAs, which ensures adequate nutrition for them. But how can we ensure that everyone eats properly if we mix fish with different nutritional needs? Therefore, it is best to keep only fish with the same eating habit.


David Lockhart